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2014 New H-1B Visa Reminder

By Thomas M Lee

Employers and Employees should be reminded that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) will begin accepting H-1B petitions that are subject to the FY 2015 numerical limitation (the “cap”) on April 1, 2014, for employment with a start date of October 1, 2014 or later. The H-1B numerical cap is limited to 65,000 visas each fiscal year, and an additional 20,000 are available for Master's graduates, or higher, of a U.S. college or university. If last year was any indication, then this year April 1 will be a very busy day!

Last year, for the first time since 2008, the annual H-1B cap for Fiscal Year 2014 was reached within the first week of the filing period, which ended on April 5, 2013. It is expected that the demand for new H-1B petitions will be higher this year due to our slow but steady recovering economy.

Accordingly, employers seeking to file H-1B petitions are strongly advised to file them for receipt at the USCIS on April 1, 2014 to avoid losing out should the cap get filled quicker than last year.

It is recommended that employers start the H-1B process immediately to have sufficient time to file and receive certification of the prerequisite Labor Condition Application (“LCA”) from the U.S. Department of Labor, which is currently taking 7 days to process. However, the time may lengthen as the demand for LCA's surges towards the end of March.

Please note that the information I am providing here in this entry, or in my website is NOT to be construed as legal advice nor is it meant to form an attorney-client relationship. For a free legal consultation by phone, please call or email me anytime.